Jonathan Rea raced his factory Kawasaki to victory in WSBK Race 2 at Laguna (Gold & Goose photo)
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took little time in hitting the front of the second 25-lap WorldSBK race at Laguna Seca, and then simply eased away from early leader and his own team-mate Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), to win by 2.8 seconds.
Sykes had initially been at the front after a third row grid placement under the 2017 race two reverse grid rules, needing only four corners to get there. Rea closed in very soon afterwards and set lap times not even race one winner, and race two third place rider Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), could match. Rea even set a new lap record of 1’23.275, despite the high track temperatures, as he hunted down Sykes on lap two.
Davies looked like he would catch and pass Sykes towards the end of the race but he was ultimately almost two seconds behind.
Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) started from the front row on pole today but unlike the previous round at Misano, where he won race two, he could only manage to finish a distant fourth, in a race where track temperatures were again well above 50°C.
Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Ducati) was an early pace man but came home fifth, 22 seconds from the winner.
Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) scored sixth place, Leandro Mercado (IodaRacing Team Aprilia) was seventh and completing a run of three Aprilia riders in succession, Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) went eighth.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) won a tight battle with his own team-mate Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) for ninth place.
Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) was 11th and Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) 15th.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) both failed to finish, Torres with a crash and Camier as a retiree.
In the points, Rea now has 341 and Sykes 282, with Davies on 226.